Officers Guillermo Ortiz, Silvestre Bonilla and Dioni Fernandez are charged with attempting to receive stolen property. Police said the officers thought they were buying electronic equipment that had been stolen.
The arrests follow a two-month investigation, Melvin reported. According to court papers, the sting started with a tip that members of the police department were paying cash for stolen property, the Associated Press reported.
Affidavits filed in the case show the police department and FBI bought televisions, iPads and other electronic equipment, and that an unidentified cooperating witness facilitated sales to the officers. One affidavit accuses Ortiz of buying an iPhone and 22-inch color TV for $250.
The three officers appeared briefly Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court, where they were released pending a future court appearance. They are suspended pending the outcome of the case.
"In this case and in the case yesterday, these officers have not only taken for granted their position, but have tarnished the image of a great police department and disrespected the police officers who go out here every single day and put their life on the line and do their job with integrity," Chief Cathy Lanier said Tuesday.
This was a separate sting from the weekend operation that led to the arrest of another police officer. Internal Affairs officers recruited 28-year-old Officer Jennifer Green for a mock burglary in the 5500 block of Colorado Avenue NW and then arrested her on charges of receiving stolen property.
Green was placed on paid administrative leave pending a trial and ordered to undergo drug testing and surrender her weapon.